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Compared with the flurry of reading that was April, May was a relatively slow reading month. I was settling into my summer job and decided to tackle Murakami's behemoth 1Q84, which slowed my reading productivity considerably. Regardless, I really really enjoyed everything I read in May.
I kicked the month off with Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides, which was absolutely phenomenal. I loved the POV, the precise and evocative writing, and the intensely appealing, immersive atmosphere of this novel. It left me with a very acute book hangover and I decided to watch the 1999 movie adaptation as soon as I finished reading. I intend to post a full book and movie review in the very near future.
I was still submerged in my book hangover when I jumped into George Orwell's 1984, which is so starkly different from The Virgin Suicides in tone, atmosphere, and style. Regardless, I found it easy to immerse myself in the disturbing world of Oceania, particularly in the first third to half of the novel. For me, 1984's greatest strength was in it's world building and political commentary. I sincerely enjoyed the novel when it focused on these aspects; however, I was much less interested when the novel's focus shifted to Winston's romance. I found the romance hard to believe due to the lack of character development and couldn't help but be troubled by Orwell's depiction of female characters. A full review will be forthcoming.
Finally, I read the first two novels in Haruki Murakami's 1Q84. I am a huge fan of Murakami's writing and thus had (and continue to have) high expectations for his most recent novel. So far, I can't say that I am in any way disappointed with 1Q84, as different as it is from Murakami's other works. However, I am noticing that I personally enjoy his shorter novels better than his longer ones. I am still making my way through the final book of 1Q84 and will update with more fully developed opinions at that point.